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When I took the test for my masters in Virginia, Maryland, and Wash DC, probably 80%-90% of the questions were residential at that point in my career I was doing 100% commercial, industrial. When I have taken NEC update classes same thing most of what was covered was residential.

Should there be more commercials included?
Should there be a separation between residential and commercial?

I know commercial electricians that cannot wire a 3-way and residential electricians that cannot bend conduit. Nothing against either one, you do what know and hopefully get betterat that aspect of the trade.
 

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Residential work is so fussy. Every inch of a house is called out by some code.
I would expect that most people start out in residential, get licensed and then after doing a bit of service work, begin to dabble in commercial work.
It would make sense to steer exam questions toward the entry level folks to give them a better chance of passing.
I didnt have any opportunity to work with Romex until I was a journeyman doing service work.
I even remodeled my kitchen with EMT out of complete ignorance of how to use romex.
As for your comment about a split.
I think our trade is so broad and diverse it wouldn’t be easy to chop it up.
I think Florida has a residential specialty license.
 

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Hey Brian, yes same when I took the DC Masters was a bit more residential based. Also, I think we met at a Mike Holt class in Virginia many years ago. As far as Commercial Exams I would like to see more questions that pertain to our day to day functions for example Fire Pumps, SDS, Tap Rules, etc. Wow, I still remember years ago going from a residential job to a commercial and the Forman handed me a beat up looking 3/4 bender and said get on it. Took me all day to figure it out and thank heavens it wasn’t exposed work.
 

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Something i enjoy about this site is reading what the residential guys are doing. Its also really interesting to listen to them discussing code.
I have often wanted to volunteer for something like houses for humanity just to have a go at wiring a house (under supervision).

During the recession the company hired local residential guys as helpers (it was a community project thing) it was a lot of fun working with the guys but it proved that we really are in 2 different trades.
 

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Residential work is so fussy. Every inch of a house is called out by some code.
I would expect that most people start out in residential, get licensed and then after doing a bit of service work, begin to dabble in commercial work.
It would make sense to steer exam questions toward the entry level folks to give them a better chance of passing.
I didnt have any opportunity to work with Romex until I was a journeyman doing service work.
I even remodeled my kitchen with EMT out of complete ignorance of how to use romex.
As for your comment about a split.
I think our trade is so broad and diverse it wouldn’t be easy to chop it up.
I think Florida has a residential specialty license.

I wired my workshop with emt after standing in home-depot for 2 hours trying to figure out what parts i needed to use romex.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Brian, yes same when I took the DC Masters was a bit more residential based. Also, I think we met at a Mike Holt class in Virginia many years ago. As far as Commercial Exams I would like to see more questions that pertain to our day to day functions for example Fire Pumps, SDS, Tap Rules, etc. Wow, I still remember years ago going from a residential job to a commercial and the Forman handed me a beat up looking 3/4 bender and said get on it. Took me all day to figure it out and thank heavens it wasn’t exposed work.
Springfield Va.
 

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I think the reason for it to be heavier on the residential end, is because residential is way more design-build. Service work also. Residential and small commercial guys are far more well rounded.
 

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I think the reason for it to be heavier on the residential end, is because residential is way more design-build. Service work also. Residential and small commercial guys are far more well rounded.
IME no one is looking over your shoulder. When I took my test in 1989(?) in SC, the journeyman test was also the residential masters test.
 
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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Residential is basically consumers and voters. Commercial occupancies don't vote so government agencies cater to the mass consumer. At least that is what it seems like around here.
 

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When I took the test for my masters in Virginia, Maryland, and Wash DC, probably 80%-90% of the questions were residential at that point in my career I was doing 100% commercial, industrial. When I have taken NEC update classes same thing most of what was covered was residential.

Should there be more commercials included?
Should there be a separation between residential and commercial?

I know commercial electricians that cannot wire a 3-way and residential electricians that cannot bend conduit. Nothing against either one, you do what know and hopefully get betterat that aspect of the trade.
You mentioned NEC code update classes. I have been taking update classes for the CEU or whatever you call them for years and as you said most is on residential. I wish they had more " meat and potatoes " classes. More time spent on chapter 400,500,700. They always go from chapter 3 and jump to swimming pools. The last one I took before the Covids, they spent over 45 minutes on AFCI. You would think by now most would know about it.
 

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When I took the test for my masters in Virginia, Maryland, and Wash DC, probably 80%-90% of the questions were residential at that point in my career I was doing 100% commercial, industrial. When I have taken NEC update classes same thing most of what was covered was residential.

Should there be more commercials included?
Should there be a separation between residential and commercial?

I know commercial electricians that cannot wire a 3-way and residential electricians that cannot bend conduit. Nothing against either one, you do what know and hopefully get betterat that aspect of the trade.
When I tested in Michigan, back in the early 90's the local municipals held the testing, overseen by the local reciprocal council RECI
They had 3 tests, residential, commercial and industrial. Which one you got was picked by the local administrators If you failed on your first try, you had to wait a year to retest and then you got one of the other tests, on the next go round.

Years later the state took over the testing and licensing. I'm not sure how their testing is set up now.
 

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I'm currently studying for the WVa masters from Ray Holders book, and it's calculating heavy. The journeyman's test ran you ALL over the NEC, with questions from theater emergency lighting to doctors clinic wireway labeling for gensets.
 

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Although the mandated code classes for continuing education here in NC are helpful, I agree that the ones I took were ... okay but could cover more stuff I worked on.

I took (and passed) the WVA "master" test (I really don't like that term) in early 90's. I was nervous because I heard it was the hardest test going.

One code class I was in was being conducted by two semi retired electrical inspectors. One of them (who had been the head electrical inspector) taught us that you could install one duplex receptacle between two garage spaces and meet the requirement of 210.52(G)(1). I read it (for the 1st time since I don't do resi work) and checked the definitions then argued he was not reading it correctly. That section requires a receptacle outlet in each bay and if you look at the definition of receptacle outlet you will see that you need two separate boxes. He said no, I said yes, back and forth for a few minutes when I decided to stop so we can continue. Months later I ran into him in the county office and he told me I was correct in my interpretation. That one floored me a little.
 

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I'm currently studying for the WVa masters from Ray Holders book, and it's calculating heavy. The journeyman's test ran you ALL over the NEC, with questions from theater emergency lighting to doctors clinic wireway labeling for gensets.
I am nowhere near the electrician that most of you guys here are, but man I can take (and pass) a test. LOL, I remember answering questions correctly because I could find the passage in the code they took the question from (most of the time word for word).

The one thing I learned that was very helpful is to not get hung up finding the answer to a question. Write the question number down on a piece of paper with a few words to help you remember the question. Then, 20 questions later you stumble across the answer to the earlier question you skipped and you can immediately go back to the question and answer it. It's great with the computer testing. I usually wind up with about 6-8 questions on my paper. LOL, when I took my building contractors exam I think I had about 25 of those on my scrap paper. :)
 

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I am nowhere near the electrician that most of you guys here are, but man I can take (and pass) a test. LOL, I remember answering questions correctly because I could find the passage in the code they took the question from (most of the time word for word).

The one thing I learned that was very helpful is to not get hung up finding the answer to a question. Write the question number down on a piece of paper with a few words to help you remember the question. Then, 20 questions later you stumble across the answer to the earlier question you skipped and you can immediately go back to the question and answer it. It's great with the computer testing. I usually wind up with about 6-8 questions on my paper. LOL, when I took my building contractors exam I think I had about 25 of those on my scrap paper. :)
I sometimes find that it is not how much you know but know how to look things up. I knew some licensed guys who were very poor electricians but good test takers.
 

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When I took the test for my masters in Virginia, Maryland, and Wash DC, probably 80%-90% of the questions were residential at that point in my career I was doing 100% commercial, industrial. When I have taken NEC update classes same thing most of what was covered was residential.

Should there be more commercials included?
Should there be a separation between residential and commercial?

I know commercial electricians that cannot wire a 3-way and residential electricians that cannot bend conduit. Nothing against either one, you do what know and hopefully get betterat that aspect of the trade.
To your point Brian, I tried to get a 70E class approved: Arc Flash and Electrical Safety, by Virginia and they turned it down because their regulation states: Training for tradesmen with the electrical specialty must be current edition of the National Electrical Code. I had the same class approved in DE and MD for 5 hours, but VA disallowed it. There are references to arc flash in the NEC, so I may try to approach approval from that angle. I think it's something that every electrician should know, how to determine what PPE to wear when working on an energized system, if only to de-energize it.
 
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